Here’s what young voters want from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the next four years

What we know about Biden’s plan:

The pandemic has driven a massive shift in jobs and industries. The Brookings Institute estimates that 42% of jobs lost due to Covid-19 will eventually be gone for good. Students are graduating into a severe recession where they will have to navigate a volatile workforce.

The Biden campaign says their jobs and economic recovery agenda is to build the economy “back better than it was before the Covid-19 crisis.” Biden’s plan includes tax credits for companies that create new jobs in the U.S. and a tax penalty for companies that move operations offshore that make products that are brought back to the U.S. Moody’s analysis estimates that 18.6 million jobs will be created during Biden’s first term, helping to boost household income and drive down the unemployment rate. Biden is also planning to provide further relief to working families, small businesses, and communities.

What students want:

Students want to know that they’re going to be able to get a job when the graduate as they launch their adult lives. They’re also worried about the economy and the coronavirus pandemic.

“I hope to pay off my student loans and assist my mom with her homeownership also. I have aspirations to enter the job market with a level of financial security,” Campbell said. “I hope this administration will make wealth, health, and other wellness aspects more equitable for underrepresented people in America.”

Philip Goodrich, a Chapman University student and president of the school’s Student Government Association, noted that getting the coronavirus under control is key to getting a healthy economy – and the job opportunities that come with it.

“We cannot have a stabilized economy until we get a grip on the virus,” Goodrich said. “Biden and Harris promise to listen to public health experts, advocate for economic aid to help businesses and families, and promote practices, such as a national mask mandate and investments in testing, to get the economy back up and running in a safe manner.”

Venegas said he does not want to see another shut down of the economy.

“Shutting down the economy a second time shows uncertainty about the future which will cause a second wave of panic that will negatively impact most businesses and the overall job market,” Venegas said.

Bryant, who is pursuing accounting, agreed.

“Although I have employment lined up post-grad, the reopening of the economy will be critical to the industry I will be entering and the clients we serve,” Bryant said. “It will also be crucial for other students who have had difficulty being recruited during this time.”

In a critical year for politics, many students said they voted for change this 2020 election — and for change to happen soon. They are hopeful for the future but will also be holding the Biden administration accountable.

“I am most looking forward to a change in the overall culture and political environment in the United States,” Goodrich said. “For the past four years, our country has exuded divisiveness, hate, and a false notion of American exceptionalism. I am optimistic that President-elect Biden will bring us back to an era of respect and civility, but this is a task that will take time and collective effort.”

What does this mean for the 2024 election? Gen Z will be tasked with the responsibility to sustain monumental change.

“We’ve seen many indicators that Gen Z is extremely engaged, mobilizing friends and have an urgency to drive change. Sustaining engagement requires support, though, and I hope communities and philanthropy will support the organizations that provide opportunities for young people to get engaged and work on issues facing communities.” Kiesa said, “There’s a lot more that election administrators, teachers, households and families can do to bring more and more diverse young people into democracy. When more young people are involved entire communities benefit.”

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